Raise your hand if you have already "lost" the batteries to one of the new toys your child was given during the holidays. Yep...you are not alone.
"But it's educational!" says grandma. Is it? Let's parse this out.
Is music educational for children?
Indisputably yes. Music has been linked to the development of language, reasoning, sensory, emotional, memory, creativity, stress reduction...in other words, it's really beneficial. Lot's of legitimate science backs this up.
What about just listening to music?
Playing musical instruments is the crown jewel of educational impact, but even before your little maestro can play an instrument--it all starts with exposure. Pattern recognition is the cornerstone of human information processing. The more times you observe patterns the easier it is to anticipate, react to, and eventually assign meaning to information you receive from the world. Music by its very definition is a pattern of sounds, rhythms, tempos, harmonies, etc.
So does it matter if your child can identify key modulation from G Major to D Major in a song?
Not necessarily. Think of it as an exercise for the brain--the more practice with pattern recognition the more that 'muscle' gets exercised. Listening to music activates the areas of the brain you would expect it to, but it also activates a wide range of other areas like motor function, emotions, and creativity. The more different patterns the better. Imagine what effect those broad-reaching activations do for a developing brain...
So is Annoying-Toy-Gifting Grandma right?
It pains us to say this, but in a way she is. Following the logic above, a toy that provides any exposure to music checks all the boxes.
Why does it have to be soooo annoying then?
It doesn't. That's why we started JamBebe, our mission is to create a toy that checks the early childhood development boxes, provides exposure to a wider range of music genres than you'll find in any other toy, and doesn't annoy everyone in earshot.